It should have been a day like any other: pedal to work far too fast while half awake, spend the rest of the day regretting not stretching enough; then cycle home slightly tired and try to remember what I actually planned to buy when I find myself at the checkout in Waitrose on High Street Kensington (I never do remember and I never do come home with what I planned to get).
But today’s ride home threw up two events which are cause for remark and rejoice at bit that not every driver in London is hellbent on driving cyclists off the road. Actually, I know most aren’t but that’s the way a certain section of the “cyclists” lobby likes to paint them. Sadly, this is the lobby that likes to make a lot of noise in a way which tars us all with the brush marked “self-righteous pricks”.
Firstly, hammering down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace and trying to get across one lane from the kerb the white van behind me slowed and held its position thus giving me room to manoeuvre out after signalling. Heck, if we hadn’t been bombing along at around the 35kph mark I would have let him pull alongside and then pinched him to check he was real. Good thing I didn’t seeing as it turned out to be a police van.
Secondly, rolling down High Street Kensington, where you have to keep your eyes open as traffic springs from all sides, a black cab found itself on the inside of me. It needed to get round a carelessly parked car on the left. Instead of squeezing me wider to get out he actually looked in his blind spot, waited for me to back off and then moved out.
I’m still baffled at such gentillesse de route. I’m not expecting it to happen again tomorrow but wouldn’t it be nice to be surprised?